Liberia: BlueCrest Fined US$10K for ‘Unapproved Master's Degree Program’
The BlueCrest University College has been fined US$10,000 for operating an unapproved master’s degree program in information technology.
The fine, which BlueCrest is expected to pay within fifteen days, comes after the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) discovered that the college was offering a master’s degree without accreditation.
“This amount must be paid in full to the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), and evidence of payment to the LRA must be submitted to the office of the Director-General within fifteen days, as of 22nd November 2021,” the commission said in a statement.
According to NCHE, the punitive measure against BlueCrest University College is intended to serve as a deterrent for any other tertiary institution that may be involved in such prohibited practices.
The NCHE release indicated that the commission has denied BlueCrest application to offer a Master’s Degree in information technology due to the dubious behaviour of the college administrators.
"The application for a graduate program and all processes previously pursued by the BlueCrest University College with conditions and recommendations proffered by the NCHE has been canceled," said Professor Edward Wonkeryor, Executive Director.
“That, if the BlueCrest University College desires to re-engage the NCHE in the future regarding application for any graduate studies in Liberia, it must reapply, and the application will be handled as a fresh start.
“This will subject the BlueCrest University College to all appropriate reassessments in accordance with the Standards and Policy of the NCHE for regulating higher education institutions. That, if the BlueCrest University College fails to comply with any or all of the above punitive measures and decisions by the NCHE, the office of the Director-General will be left with no other option, but to recommend the BlueCrest University College in Liberia to the Board of Commissioners of the NCHE for permanent closure, or to request for the resignation of its president from the Board of Trustees of the BlueCrest University College,” the NCHE added.
Earlier this week, NCHE disclosed that the BlueCrest University College applied for accreditation, but failed to meet up with the required conditions and later decided to bypass the rigorous process by secretly offering graduate degrees – thus violating policies and regulations governing higher education institutions within Liberia.
The NCHE added that BlueCrest went ahead, advertising and enrolling students for graduate studies without the tacit approval, disregarding the NCHE recommendation and approval process.
BlueCrest College was conceived as a high-tech Information Technology (IT) center of excellence in late 2013. In April 2014, the Board of School Accreditation of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Liberia awarded a letter of accreditation to BlueCrest International I.T. Institute to operate as a vocational Institution.
In 2015, BlueCrest received a permit from the NCHE to offer undergraduate degrees in information technology and Management. Apart from the graduate degree programs, BlueCrest University College also offered diploma and certificate courses in software engineering, networking, infrastructure, graphic designing, and web development.
The commission, however, cautioned the public not to transact any business with the BlueCrest University College regarding graduate studies, or the Master’s program in Information Technology in Liberia.